The Orbit

The Student News Site of Reading Memorial High School

The Orbit

The Orbit


Which statement best describes your feelings about the return of midyear exams?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Sports Betting at RMHS

Age Restrictions Not a Barrier
Ben Regazzini (’22)

Sports betting has become greatly popular since it was legalized for those over 21 in 2018. But what many may not have anticipated is how popular it would become with high school students. 

 Sports betting involves predicting sports results and placing a wager on the outcome. People bet on different aspects of the game, hoping to win money. People are able to download apps right on their phones to engage in the sports betting world. In Massachusetts, sports betting has only been legal since May 2018, so it’s a relatively new form. That said, many high school students have found ways around the 21-year-old age restriction and are also participating in the sports betting enterprise. 

It’s no secret that more and more teens have started sports betting.  According to a February 11 Boston Globe article called Boom in Youth Gambling in Mass. Fueled by Online Sports Betting Apps, it talks about the increase in sports betting. The article reads, “Over the past decade, the behavioral health surveys have consistently shown that 40 to 50 percent of Massachusetts students engage in some form of gambling, such as playing the lottery or participating in fantasy sports.” Sports gambling has become just as addictive as some drugs. The thrill of winning money makes you want to continue, and when you lose money, you want to try again to win more money. 

I just use my dad’s ID and name for all my accounts.

— Anonymous Senior

So, what does this have to do with RMHS? After talking to many senior boys, most concluded that they participate in sports betting. Some even make bets during the school day. 

For many sports betting apps, you need proof of ID to show you are 21. Knowing that all high school students are under the age of 21, I spoke to a senior boy about how they got around this, and he said, “I just use my dad’s ID and name for all my accounts.”

After talking to many boys who sports bet at RMHS, I found that most would like to remain anonymous due to their underage status and technically not being allowed to be sports betting. One senior boy interviewed who partakes in sports betting talks about why they chose to do it. They said, “I like looking at all the bets I can make and see the possible money I can win; it gives me excitement winning, so that’s why I continue to do it.” 

With March Madness happening, many kids have been placing their bets on which team they think will win and make it to the next round. A Senior boy who has also been participating in the March Madness bets said, “One of the parley bets I did was that NC State, Oregon, Arizona State, San Diego State, and Kansas would all win the first round, and they did. I got lucky, and I won 60 bucks from this bet. I’ve also one 10 dollars on a smaller bet.” The senior, who has been betting for a while now, feels confident with his skills; he says, “I only bet on games or players I know I have a high chance of winning, but I also bet on high winning games because typically they don’t cost a lot to join the bet and if I win I get a lot of money.” 

Students at this age should be saving their money, not betting it on sports.

— Mr. Ladderbush

Since the sports betting world has been growing at RMHS, many faculty have heard about this phenomenon and have their own opinions on the situation. Mr. Ladderbush of the math department has his own opinion of the matter and feels strongly against teen sports betting for several reasons. Ladderbush says, “I don’t think kids should sports bet because they are too young to make rational decisions that could impact their finances. Students at this age should be saving their money, not betting it on sports.” He continues, “Lots of students who bet only work minimum wage jobs so when they lose money it makes a dent in their bank account.” Teachers have overheard kids talking about how much money they have lost or won in classes. 

It’s safe to say that RMHS isn’t foreign to underage sports betting. Sports betting has become very addictive for students; the thrill of winning money and placing bets with friends is very tempting. The temptation to double, triple, or even quadruple your money sometimes draws many high schoolers in, and also just peer pressure. Lots of kids sports bet just because they see their friends doing it and want to have something to connect to.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Orbit Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *